At the Belarus-Poland border, Polish mothers protest migrant detentions.
Polish moms demonstrated along the Belarusian border on Saturday, chanting “shame” and “no one is illegal,” to protest the detention of children and other migrants attempting to enter the EU.
“We can’t stand by while children spend weeks without food, drink, or shelter in cold, rainy, dark forests on Polish land,” the event organizers wrote on Facebook.
Since August, thousands of migrants, largely from the Middle East, have attempted to cross the border, an unprecedented flow that the EU believes Belarus is orchestrating in response to EU sanctions.
Thousands of Polish troops have been deployed to the border, a razor-wire fence has been constructed, and a three-month state of emergency has been declared in the local border area, prohibiting journalists and humanitarian workers.
Protesters holding posters that read “Border of Death” and “Fear God Not Refugees” urged the Polish government to lift the border ban so that migrants may obtain assistance.
They also accused border guards of shoving migrants back across the border in “pushbacks,” and demanded that the government stop doing so.
“We feel for the people in the forest,” said Sylwia Chorazy, one of several hundred protestors at the Michalowo border guard station in eastern Poland.
“‘Mum, what if we too had to spend the night in the woods?’ my sons wondered this morning. It’s heartbreaking, heartbreaking, heartbreaking, heartbreaking, heartbreaking, heartbreaking, heartbreaking, heart “AFP quoted her as saying.
The demonstration was held in Michalowo, which made headlines earlier this month when border guards there, despite cries for refuge, ordered a group of largely migrant children and women back into the forest.